Host a young person in your home
If you want to make a positive difference in the life of a teenager, and you have a spare bedroom, you could become a host with our Supported Lodgings programme.
We ask that you offer a young person all of the following:
- A room of their own
- Their own front door key
- Use of facilities including kitchen, bathroom and living rooms
- A safe and welcoming home environment
- Advice and support on practical skills such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry and using public transport
- Encouragement to make and sustain positive choices in their lives.
You don’t need to have had your own family or experience of working with young people. And it does not matter whether or not you own your own home.
We are looking for people who have an awareness of the needs of young people, patience and understanding, the ability to listen and respond appropriately, and a willingness to work alongside YMCA staff.
What help can hosts expect from YMCA St Paul’s Group?
We give ongoing support, including:
- Financial assistance
- Comprehensive training
- Advice available 24 hours a day, by telephone
- Regular meetings with a YMCA support worker.
We’d love to hear from you.
T 020 8832 1551/3.
Sandra: “They arrive with nothing, just a bag… and you see them start to cook, grow in confidence and learn to live independently… it’s a really good feeling.”
“I’ve hosted four young people in my home through YMCA Supported Lodgings. You do earn money, but the real reward is the impact you make.
The whole application process to be a host took less than a month because I had the documents that were needed like a DBS check already. Although my spare room is small, it had a bed, wardrobe, desk and chair so that was ok. We passed.
YMCA phoned about a child aged 16 who needed a home. He was from Vietnam and had arrived in the back of lorry and placed in a house that dealt with cannabis. He couldn’t speak English but wanted to study English at Harrow College. He met with our family and an interpreter helped with the language. The whole family agreed to offer him a placement.
I spent the first morning introducing him to the local area, getting him an Oyster card, and showing him the route to Harrow College. Over time his English improved. He cooked Vietnamese meals for us, and we cooked Caribbean food for him – my children really enjoyed interacting with him. I taught him to budget, shop and cook, and to do his laundry and keep his room clean. After two years he was ready to live independently and had a job. He keeps in touch and still calls me “Mum”.
I’ve also hosted a 16 year old mother and baby, a young man who has just finished his first year at Cardiff University, and another with learning difficulties who is now flourishing.
Any attention and love you can give is really appreciated. Building a relationship is essential and developing good communications. YMCA offers training, networking and 24 support so you’re never on your own.”
You need patience, time, and a spare room… but the rewards will blow your mind.”